Adding descriptions in Airtable
  • 31 Mar 2023
  • 4 Minuten zu lesen
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Adding descriptions in Airtable

  • Dunkel
    Hell
  • pdf

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Article Summary

Learn how and where you can add descriptions in Airtable. Descriptions help other users to better understand a particular part of the workflow that has been set up in Airtable. From fields to bases to automations, we'll cover all the places in Airtable where descriptions exist.


Introduction

Plan availabilityAll plan types
Permissions
  • Owners/Creators - Can add, edit, delete, and view descriptions
  • All users - Can view descriptions
Platform(s)Web/Browser, Mac app, Windows app, and mobile apps
Airtable terminologyBase guide - Unlike other surfaces in Airtable, a base description is referred to in the product as a Base guide. Typically, base guides will describe the broader details about the information contained within the base and therefore may require more information than other surfaces in Airtable.


Why add descriptions in Airtable?

In many cases, the tools you use throughout your workday are software that someone else configured. This will likely also be the case in Airtable for other users at your organization. By providing descriptions in the surfaces covered below, owners and creators in Airtable can ensure that:

  • Onboarding new employees goes as smoothly as possible
  • Subtle or complex builds can be easily understood when changes need to be made in the future
  • When an employee leaves there is a "paper trail" of how and/or why something was built in Airtable
  • Other users understand why they may not want to change a certain configuration due to wider implications
  • Known points of confusion can be addressed in a way that prevents repetitive internal discussions or IT tickets


Adding and viewing descriptions in Airtable

Base guides

Unlike other surfaces, a description of a base is called a Base guide in the product. This is because entire bases usually require a bit more information to fully explain. For that reason, after a base guide has been added, it will appear the first time another user opens the base.

To add a guide to a base or edit an existing guide, navigate to the base to which you'd like to add a guide. Next, click the dropdown arrow next to the base's name. Then, click the dropdown next to Base guide option.

This will open up a text box into which you can enter details about the base or edit an existing guide. You can also use Markdown within the base guide to add headers, links, emojis, and images. 

Note
Creating a walkthrough video to help onboard future users is an excellent addition to a base guide. You can then add the video's link to the base guide.
Table descriptions

Sometimes the name of your table or view isn't long or detailed enough to explain everything. When this happens, you can add a description to make it easier for your collaborators to understand how the base is set up.

To add a description to a table, navigate to the table to which you'd like to add a description. Next, click the dropdown arrow next to the table name. From the dropdown menu, pick the Edit table description option.

This will open the description window where you can fill in a brief description of the table:

The table description will appear when hovering over the table's name:

View descriptions

View descriptions are helpful for keeping track of what each of your views is set up to display and sharing that information with others. To add or edit a view description, start by clicking on the name of your view to expand the view options menu. Then click Edit view description.

4404294852887viewname.jpg

This will open the dialog box where you can fill in a brief description of the view:
4404295012375editdescription.jpg

The view description will appear in two places:

  1. By hovering over the view's name
  2. By opening the views sidebar and finding the description under the view

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Field descriptions

If the title of your field could use a longer explanation, you have the option of adding a more detailed field description to each of your fields. To add a field description, click on the dropdown arrow next to the name of the field to which you wish to add a description, then select the Edit field description option.

This will open the dialog box where you can fill in a brief description of the field:

The field description will appear when hovering over the field's name:

Automation descriptions

It's a best practice tip to add descriptions to every automation you create. Automations can have specific complexities that are more easily understood when a few details are provided in a description. To add an automation description, click on the dropdown arrow next to the name of the automation to which you wish to add a description, then select the Edit description option.

This will open the dialog box where you can fill in a brief description of the automation:

The automation description will appear in two places:

  1. When hovering over the automation's name
  2. In the automation list just below the automation's name


Extension descriptions

If the title of your field could use a longer explanation, you have the option of adding a more detailed field description to each of your fields. To add a field description, click on the dropdown arrow next to the name of the field to which you wish to add a description, then select the Edit field description option.

This will open the dialog box where you can fill in a brief description of the extension:

The automation description will appear when hovering over the extension's name:

Workspace descriptions

Depending on how your organization is using Airtable, users might have access to multiple workspaces. In these cases, it could be helpful to add a workspace description, especially when onboarding new employees to your organization's Airtable ecosystem.

To add or edit a workspace description, first, navigate to a specific workspace from the Airtable home screen.

This will open a text box where you can fill in a brief description. This is also where the description will appear in the future.


FAQs

Is there a character limit to descriptions?

Yes, 20,000 characters.


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